interior of a kitchen
Monday, July 22, 2019

How to get the most from a small kitchen

Clear the clutter

In a small space, it’s helpful to keep as little as possible on the worktops. Opt for a hot water tap and you can get rid of your kettle – or hide all your small appliances, such as the toaster and kettle behind doors in a breakfast cupboard. With sockets installed at the rear of the cupboard, your appliances are ready to use whenever you need them – just open the doors and you’re good to go.

Storage solutions in drawers help to keep more clutter at bay. Foil and greaseproof dispensers keep rolls out of the way and built-in knife holders free up space where your knife block would have been.

Anything freestanding on the floor can be in the way in a small space – so get everything tucked away behind closed doors. Units with integral waste and recycling storage are ideal for keeping things out of sight and out of the way.

Clean lines

Unbroken lines of sleek cabinets give the impression of more space than a cottage-style look with fussy design elements. It’s good to avoid handles in a small space, if you can, as these break up the lines visually. If your room allows, a feature wall of full-height cabinets will look fabulous as well as providing a wealth of storage space.

Smart storage

The key is to make good use of every available inch of space. That means building in useful features such as carousels or pull-out shelving for those awkward-to-reach corner cupboards. Pull-out larder units are available in a range of widths, from as little as 150mm, and are ideal for filling spaces which might otherwise be unused. With smart solutions you don’t need to be a basketball player to make use of high level space. Pull-down shelving, available in ranges such as Nobilia, allows you easy access to higher up storage.

Stick to the essentials

It might seem obvious, but don’t build things in which you don’t need. In a small kitchen, everything has to earn its place. If you hardly ever use your microwave, consider whether you actually need one. Do you really want to allocate up to 2 cubic feet of space for something you only ever use to heat your peas – or worse still reheat your coffee? (yes, really! It happens)

Colour and lighting for a small kitchen

Paler colours are best in a small space. We’re not suggesting you have to have everything white – you don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived at the dental surgery every time you walk into your kitchen. Whites work well, but creams and pale greys can be just as effective, and if you want a strong contrast you can add a smooth porcelain or quartz worktop in a dark shade which will still reflect plenty of light thanks to the glossy surface. A mirrored splashback is another way of reflecting light into the room and adding to the sense of space. For a warm effect choose a mirror with a bronze or antique tone.

Once you’ve decided on your colours and reflective materials, you need to add in plenty of light to bounce off your surfaces. LED lighting is fitted as standard on the undersides of Nobilia wall cabinets, and you can add lighting below the edge of worktops, inside glass-fronted cabinets and at the base of cabinets.

Dual-purpose space

It’s far easier to live with a small kitchen if you have multi-functioning spaces. A peninsular area can be used for prepping or dining and can even be a mini home-office at other times. Sockets or USB points built into a supporting leg take up no extra room and give you power right where you need it, whether for a blender or a laptop. Or opt for a retractable power socket and USB charger which can be built into the worktop.

Speak to one of the designers at Schwarz Kitchens for more compact kitchen design ideas. We’re open 7 days a week, so drop in to one of our showrooms in Eastbourne, Brighton and Haywards Heath and get inspiration from our display kitchens.

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